Jacksonville Daily Progress
The Jacksonville College men's basketball team received a lesson in Texas geography late Tuesday and chances are most of the players slept right through it, which according to head coach Jody Bailey is probably a good thing.
The Jags were scheduled to depart from campus around 3 p.m. yesterday traveling to Beeville, which is roughly an eight-hour journey that covers about 380 miles-one way, to take on Coastal Bend Community College in a Region XIV game that is scheduled to tip off at 6 p.m.tonight.
Bailey said the key to the trip for his guys would be their ability to handle the adversities that traveling so far brings.
“The good thing is it seems like whether we go just go down the road to play in Tyler, or go on a three-hour trip, the boys usually go right on off to sleep on the bus, so we're hoping that they can sleep for about eight hours,” he said. “Seriously, we will have to be able to handle a unique adversity that traveling that far and spending the night in a hotel brings.
“It's not the norm for us, but I think that we have a plan in place that will help our players cope with it,”
Bailey stated that the team's paramount goal was safety and that he anticipated that the team would arrive at its headquarters — the Motel 6 of Beeville — around 11 p.m. last night.
After a mid-morning breakfast today, the team was scheduled to have a shoot-around at the Cougars' arena at noon.
The Jags were then scheduled to eat lunch in mid afternoon and then settle into their normal game-night routine of arriving at the gym at 4:30 p.m.
“Once we cross the lines, it boils down to 40 minutes of basketball, just like any other game,” Bailey said.”We are stressing this to our kids and we are trying to keep them focused on the task at hand, which is winning a basketball game and representing our university in a positive manner.”
The Cougars are 11-3 overall, 5-2 in Region XIV, and are tied with Angelina College for first in the South Zone.
The Jags (13-5, 4-3) are tied with San Jacinto and Lamar State-Port Arthur for third place in the South.
“Coastal Bend is a good basketball team,” Bailey said. “But I like the fact that we have proven ourselves on the road this year and I don't think we will be intimidated by playing down at their place.”
To be exact, eight of the Jag wins have taken play away from Jacksonville this year.
The JC men will be putting a four-game winning streak on the line when they face the Cougars this evening, with three of those decisions coming in conference.
One of Coastal Bend's league losses came at home as Tyler Junior College stopped the Cougars, 72-62, on Jan. 9.
Tyler also defeated the Jags, 91-89 in overtime, in a game that was played in Tyler in early December.
Win or lose, the Jags will saddle up on the mini bus about 9 p.m. tonight for the overnight ride back to East Texas and the start of Spring semester classes tomorrow.